Vladimir General Guide by Corpsespawn
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Early Game Buys
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hey everyone, thanks for checking out my guide, I'd like to note that this is my 1st Champion guide ever and will update and edit if possible. I hope you find it entertaining and helpful if you're looking to play Vlad. He is without a doubt my favorite champion and I think he's a strong addition to any team and one the enemy should fear! I built this guide because I feel that it utilizes Vladimir's strengths and skillset to just about the limit.
I'm going to go over some of my personal builds and explain why I make the choices I do.
Please feel free to leave feedback and your thoughts. :D
*I will be updating this guide and include of builds that show different item/mastery/rune combination as this is not the only way I play vlad.
Who is Vlad and why should you play him?
Vlad is a tanky mage capable of amazing burst and brings good team presence to the fights. He can help murder the enemy team or do it just by himself while being tough as hell to kill.
All while looking simply spectacular.
-Lacks crowd control (has 1 slow)
-Weak early game
-Low base attack
-Often gets focused
Runes & Masteries
The runes below are some of what I personally use. I'll also list alternatives for different situations and different compliments to Vlad's different styles and builds.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: More penetration, more damage. Giggity.
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: I tend to top lane so I generally want the extra armor. A good alternative can also be Greater Seal of Scaling Health due to Crimson Pact.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: 10% CDR at level 18.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Perfect if you want more durability against enemy Mages.
Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp: Vlad is a vampire, let's steal more health.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Also provides utility to Vlad as he suffers from a low base speed.
*Of course if you want to go for a more AP heavy rune setup it is perfectly acceptable.
The masteries below are again just what I personally use. Vlad can be built to be more durable or have more utility.
This mastery setup currently provides me with the play style I am most comfortable with. Vladimir can easily be built as more durable mage, or more utility to make up for his slow speed or even more spell vamp. But this gives me a nice balance of offensive and defensive bonuses to survive a little longer and dish out more damage.
I feel the need to explain some of my mastery choices. I put 2 points into Fury since I already have max CDR from my build/runes and didn't want to waste these points. I go with Expose Weakness over Feast as our AOE is going to contribute to an increase over team damage in team fights.
Items & Explanations
(1100g): Magic penetration help your overall damage. Pretty much the standard on any AP champion. However, (1000g) is also a valuable alternative for its cooldown reduction (CDR).
(2750g): A favorite of mine especially on Vladimir. He already is sapping health from his enemies and with all the spell vamp in this build you will out heal alot of damage be able to re-enter fights just by going off to the side and sucking the life from a poor creep. I think the number is somewhere around 32% spell vamp at the final build.
(2400g) vs. (3700g): Here is where you can choose to go either way. I've started buying gunblade as of right now because I don't like the MP5 on the WotA and I'm already CDR capped in this build. The slow is also very useful along with the extra damage spell.
(3300g): A must have for any AP champ serious about dealing damage. There's no discussion here.
(3260g): This item compliments Vladimir immensely. You enter into a fight, drop a combo or two, use this baby, your combo will be up again. If you use Sanguine Pool before this, there's a good chance it will be up shortly again for use but only if you have it maxed and full CDR.
(2900g): This is usually the last item spot I am buying, I tend to have the cheaper mask in inventory by now for its magic penetration. However the slow from your Sanguine Pool refreshes this item's effect and DOUBLES IT! You can also use your gunblade to slow your enemy down. Definitely worth considering.
(2295g): Buy this is the enemy is stacking Magic Resistance against you or your team. (2560g) should also be considered in this situation.
(2900g): Gives a nice chunk of HP/AP+ a slow. This is another split decision item. It compliments Liandry's well but also provides you with a slow on your spells. AoE's receive a reduced benefit. A tough choice for myself.
(3100g): 120 AP is alot of potential damage along with it's activation. Also provides 10% CDR. I personally do not buy it as I tend to not use it enough and avoid going over my CDR cap.
(2750g): A healthy balance of magic and armor resist with the ability to come back into the fight.
(2750g): Is the enemy Brand or Ryze giving you a hard time? This item will help you out bunches. Good bit of health and the ability to absorb some spells. Love this item.
: With the current item build I have listed in this guide I generally have to raise 17,010g. That's quite a bit of CS...to help reduce this cost I very often will buy Spellthief's Edge and upgrade it to Frostfang on my first trip back to base. Frostfang alone generally earns me about 800g by the 30 minute mark if I am trading often and farming CS effectively & sells for 300g. This helps pay for wards, potions, and flasks I might end up buying. Of course, I could also swap out my gunblade for Will of the Ancients and save 1400g. I generally sell it about this time as I am buying my late game items anyway and that is why I buy it.
Ability Sequence & Spells
Crimson Pact: This passive is the what makes Vladimir what he is, a boss! Get alittle extra out of those items that grant you health and even more out of your ability power! Makes you tankier as you become deadlier!
Transfusion: This is your bread and butter, your new form of auto attack, you don't trade unless this is up. Nearly instant, amazing poke/last hitting potential. Main source of sustain and damage.
Sanguine Pool: The spell so many other champions only dream of having. This baby makes you nearly invulnerable. Damage over time(DOTs) and target-channeled spells will still affect you while you're in your pool, such as, Unspeakable Horror, Drain, & Ethereal Chains. However this spell can dodge just about everything else, knowing when to use this is the difference between many bad and good Vlad players.
Tides of Blood: This enables you to dish out some mean Area of Effect (AOE) damage while pumping up the amount of life you steal back from Transfusion and Sanguine Pool. Try to get your stacks up when you sense a fight coming to optimize the damage you will deal and gain back in team fights.**Be sure not to spam this too much as you will find your health steadily decreasing, finding the happy balance is key!!!**
Hemoplague: This spell is what makes Vlad such a team player. Players under this effect take 12% more damage. Tag as many enemies as possible when a team fight breaks out. This will also help you secure kills & nuke down enemy champs.
: Easy choice. Post level 6 you can really nuke an opponent with this and your full combo.
: Surprise them, escape them, get into a better position during fights. Unlimited uses, cannot go wrong with this.
Other viable choices
: Extra movement speed can help you run down and stick to fleeing targets or escape from others.
: This could be picked up since this build runs with Spirit Visage.
Team Fights & You
Your role is a simple one. Make sure the stacks on your Tides of Blood is full going into a team fight and try to land your Hemoplague on as many targets as possible. You definitely want to be aiming for their carries and try burst them down. If you find yourself in trouble or see them attempting to leave you can use your Sanguine Pool to slow or avoid damage. If you have your Zhonya's Hourglass then you should be safe enough to avoid most of the heat the enemy might throw at you. Do NOT be the one to initiate a fight though. That isn't what your job is.
Learn you opponent and their skills and you will be that much deadlier. I'll update this section with match ups and some info that might be useful to you as it is to me.
As I take pictures of results showing this build at work I'll add them. Hopefully get some footage up here too. *12/2/13